Books about Organizing, Read-a-Thon Reminder

  • January is a great time to reset and to get organized! Check out these books for kids about organizing and the value of “a place for everything.”





I hope many of our students have started on the Read-a-Thon challenge! I am excited for our kids to earn free books for themselves and for the library! Keep reading, HHCS!



Events, Uncategorized

Family Reading Tips for the Summer, and Summer Reading Challenge for HHCS Students

I can’t believe it is the last week of school and my last blog post for the school year!  I wanted to share with you some helpful ideas for getting your kids engaged in summer reading.  Check out these articles for parents:

20 Relaxing Happy Places for Kids to Read this Summer

Using Summer Fun to Build Background Knowledge

Start With a Book – Books and Activities for Summer Reading and Learning

Ricky Rocket

Classroom Read-Alouds and Activities to Inspire Screen-Free Summer Adventures

Fun in the Sun: Summer Printables and Activities

I hope to see many of you at the car parade at HHCS on the 25th!  On that day, jumbo freezies for all, as well as McDonald’s ice cream certificates for those who met their Term 3 AR goal will be handed out.  Those who participated in the Poetry for Popsicles challenge will receive their prize that day as well.  Finally, the SUMMER READING CHALLENGE will be distributed in print form in the learning report envelopes, or you can also access the digital version here.


I am starting a new initiative where students who complete at least one of the Summer Reading Challenge options and submit it to me in September, will receive an HHCS seal for their certificate in June.  (in the same way that we give seals for leadership teams, sports teams, etc.)

If you want to use the digital format of the Summer Reading Challenge, please make a copy of the presentation for yourself and rename it with the name of the student when you submit it in September- e.g. “Summer Reading Challenge- Bob Brown” or something that makes it easily identifiable for me. And if you want to use the paper version, simply have your child bring it to the library in September, or just give it to their homeroom teacher to pass along to me.  (Remember as stated above, will come home in the learning report envelope.)

If you have any issues managing this or need help this summer with book recommendations then you can email me at l.baillargeon@hh-cs.org.

I hope everyone has a great last week of school! I will miss all the students and I wish you all a happy, blessed, and safe summer.  I can’t wait to see you all in September.

schools out


Building Belonging- diversity, Scholastic Book Club, Special Days/Weeks/Months, Uncategorized

Indigenous History Month, New Scholastic Digi-Flyer, and Father’s Day Books

June is Indigenous History Month and it is a time to celebrate First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people.  However at HHCS we recently mourned the very sad news about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former residential school in British Columbia.

If you would like to talk about this topic some more with your children, here is an article from CBC Kids News that could help you.

CBC Kids News

Here are some resources to help you to highlight the many amazing things about Indigenous people and community.

CBC Kids is always a great site to visit!

The Barren Ground by David A. Robertson

The Barren Grounds

Click on the link above for the synopsis/review.  Several of the students I work with read this book for the Forest of Reading program.

What’s My Superpower?

Just an everyday awesome indigenous kid in this story!


My Heart Fills with Happiness

A sweet and happy book about family!

My Heart Fills With Happiness

May We Have Enough to Share

Community and gratitude are celebrated in this meaningful book.

May We Have Enough to Share

Visit indigenous websites:

Scholastic Digi-Flyer- June

Class code – RC391237

June Flyers Are Here

Read about Scholastic Camp Read-a-Lot here!  http://classroomessentials.scholastic.ca/s/cec-ca/en/camp-readalot

I will also have more options for Summer Reading Challenges- to be announced next week!  Your child will have the opportunity to earn a Summer Reading seal!

In other news, don’t forget about Father’s Day coming up soon!

Father’s Day Fun: 14 New Picture Books Perfect for Dads

My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Daddy Long Legs
Every Friday

Authors, HHCS Reads, Literary Tourism, Uncategorized

Remembering Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, and HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. McAllister

It was a sad week in the world of children’s literature as two very well known author-illustrators, Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, passed away. Lois Ehlert is most famous for illustrating the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  She also worked on books such as Waiting for Wings, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, and many more.

Reading Rockets- Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert

Eric Carle’s cheerful and colourful books have brought joy to children for many years.  His most famous book is of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a classic.  Some other books by Eric Carle are Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Tiny Seed, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider, and so many more!


It has been a goal of mine for some time to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The Carle celebrates picture books and offers educational programs and exhibits.  This looks like such an amazing place to visit!




We have a new segment of HHCS READS this week- an interview with Mrs. McAllister, a paraeducator on our staff who is completing her first year of working at HHCS!

Mrs. McAllister says:

My favourite things about reading are the places I get to “visit”, the topics I get to learn about and the feelings I get to feel. Books have taken me so many places and given me perspectives very different from my own. With so many types of books available so easily the options are endless!! If only there was more time for reading!!
I don’t think I have a favourite place to read. I will read anywhere (except in a moving car, that makes me sick). I always have an ebook available to read on my cell phone so if I have to wait somewhere I can always have a book with me.
What type/genre of books do I read? Mostly I choose fiction, anything with a bit of a mystery, or a feel good story, some science fiction, some utopian stories, if someone recommends a book I will read it. I find reading books that other people have recommended tells me a little something about that person. I do read non-fiction books too. It depends on what I’m interested in at the moment as to what the topic is. Probably most often the book is about animals or about a person (biographical).
Right now I read a lot of children’s books. A LOT! James and Clayton are my twin boys. They are 6, and they love books like I do. We read a lot together. All kinds of fictional stories, all kinds of non-fiction books, mostly about sea creatures and dinosaurs right now. For me I am reading Do It Afraid by Joyce Meyer (she is one of my favourite authors right now), and You Are The Girl For the Job by Jess Connolly. I am learning and praying about what God is calling me to do and being able to do it.

 As a young child I read Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears and really anything I could get my hands on. As I got older I read chapter books about animals, horses mostly, and Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew and Christy. I loved my church library and getting different books every week. I bought so many books with birthday and Christmas money. I even went through all my books and labeled them like they are labeled in the library. I wanted to be a librarian when I was young, and for one term in university I worked in the campus library. I loved shelving all the research books and being surrounded by the smell of old books. 

Last year, just before the pandemic started I bought a bunch of Usborne books for my sons. They loved them so much that I became an Usborne consultant. A year later and I am still a consultant, I love helping other people find books that they will love, and our home library is full of so many Usborne books. We have lift-the-flap non-fiction books (I think those are our favourites), activity and puzzle books, a bunch of different leveled reading books like you might use for AR reading, and what are called Beginners books (non-fiction books about all kinds of different topics). Some of my favourite books to read with my sons right now are The Dinosaur Who Lost His Roar, Look Inside Our World, 100 Things to Know About the Oceans and Forgotten Fairy Tales of Kindness and Courage.
Thank you so much to Mrs. McAllister for this interview for HHCS Reads!  I love the smell of old books too!
bean bag chair chill



Apps and websites, Uncategorized

Books About Nature, Classic Books for Kids, and Last Day for Accelerated Reader is Coming Up Soon!

Hello HHCS, I hope that you had a beautiful Victoria Day weekend!  As our kids are being outside more and more with this beautiful May weather, here are some book lists on the theme of nature and the outdoors.

100+ Must-Read Nature Books for Kids of All Ages

10 Picture Books to Inspire Children to Get Outside and Explore

This Moose Belongs to Me

34 Nature Books for Kids

20 Children’s Picture Books To Inspire a Love of Nature

CBC Books- Canadian Nature and Weather Related Books for Kids

A reminder to all that the last day to take a test for the Accelerated Reader program is coming up fast!  June 10 is the last day for students to reach their AR goal.  Let’s keep reading, HHCS! Here is a great article about keeping our young readers motivated.

Spark a passion for reading: 15 ways to motivate daily reading practice

This week I am also featuring lists of classic books for kids.  Here are some recommendations of some of the best!  This could be a great challenge for your child this summer- why not try out some of the classics?

15 Classics That 8- to 12-Year-Olds Say Are Worth Reading Today

Treasure Island

15 Classic Children’s Books for 3- to 5-Year-Olds

The Poky Little Puppy

Pan MacMillan- Reading Tips for Classic Children’s Books

laptop reading

“A book is a dream you hold in your hands.” – Neil Gaiman

Authors, Scholastic Book Club, Uncategorized

New Book Releases, New Scholastic Digi-Flyers, and Books About Inventors

Hello HHCS!  Time to stock up to get ready for some summer reading- new Scholastic digi-flyers!

May Flyers Are Here!

Class code – RC391237

Camp Read-a-Lot

May Digi-Flyer


May is Inventors’ Month!  Here are some great places to get started with improving your home library with books related to inventors and STEAM! (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math!) Don’t forget you can look these books up on your local public library website as well- just place them on hold with your library card number!

Childrens’ Library Lady- Books About Inventors

Children’s Books about Inventors Perfect for Teaching STEM

Scholastic- Books for Young Inventors

Women Inventors That Changed the World Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!


And lastly for this week, I wanted to feature some new book releases that I am excited about!  All of these have either just been released recently or will be very soon.

You can’t go wrong with Scaredy Squirrel by Canadian author Melanie Watt, and now his adventures will be featured in a graphic novel format!

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell Graphic Novel – Penguin Random House

Scaredy Squirrel In a Nutshell

Gordon Korman’s newest book, Unplugged is now out!  The premise sounds very interesting!  It is so neat to see how Korman is still a very popular author.  His first book, This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, was written when he was 12 years old and published when he was 14.  I remember as a kid the amazement I felt that a teenager could be a published author of a very popular book!



The Magic Tree House books remain very popular with our students and I’m sure they will be thrilled to see this new version of Dinosaurs Before Dark in graphic novel format!

Magic Tree House- Dinosaurs Before Dark- Graphic Novel

Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel

Chris Grabenstein is an amazing author with many middle-grade novels to his name, including the very popular Lemoncello series.  His newest book is here- Dog Squad! Grabenstein’s writing is always very funny and interesting – his books are a great way to get reluctant readers interested in reading!

Dog Squad

Happy reading!


Apps and websites, Authors, Events, Uncategorized

Books to Celebrate Mothers, and Author Visit with Terry Lynn Johnson

I hope that you all had a nice Mothers’ Day!  Here are some books to celebrate moms!


When in doubt, go to A Mighty Girl for amazing book lists and other resources!

What to Read with Mom this Mother’s Day

Some great Canadian content here!

40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

I love the multicultural representation here!

An old favourite!



Dog Driven

Rescue at Lake Wild

Terry Lynn Johnson is a 2021 Forest of Reading nominated author and shared stories with grades 4-6 last week about her adventures in dog sledding and working at Quetico Park in northern Ontario.  She also explained about the writing and editing process and how much work it takes to get to the final, just right draft!  Terry Lynn had all of us captivated as she enthusiastically shared her stories.  We look forward to reading more of Terry Lynn’s books! Thank you for an amazing author visit Terry Lynn!


Building Belonging- diversity, Social-Emotional, Uncategorized

May is Mental Health Month and Asian Heritage Month

Hello everyone!  Thank you to all who sent in their poems for the Poetry for Popsicles Challenge!  We really enjoyed having the students share their poems!  So much creativity in the writing and reciting of these works of art!

May is a busy month as we observe both Asian Heritage Month and Mental Health Month!  Let’s continue to promote understanding and diversity.  It’s especially important that our kids understand how to take care of their mental health and that it’s ok to ask for help with their mental health.

30 Asian & Asian American Children’s Books for Ages 0 to 18


Mighty Girl Books for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Book List: Asian Heritage Month

12 Kid-Approved Middle Grade Books That Tackle Mental Health

The Seventh Most Important Thing


Picture Books about Mental Health

HHCS Reads, Uncategorized

Earth Day, Shakespeare’s Birthday, and HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. Tapley

Hi everyone!  Don’t forget that students can still submit poems until Friday for the Write it or Recite It- Poetry Popsicle Challenge!  We’ve really been enjoying the poems that have come in so far! See my last blog post for details.

This past week was Earth Day!  Let’s keep the learning going in our families- enjoy these activities with your kids!

This past week was also Shakespeare’s birthday!  I thought I’d include some resources here about Shakespeare for kids!
Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave

This week we have another interview for our HHCS READS feature!  Mrs. Tapley is a paraprofessional at HHCS and is new to our school this year.  Here is what she says:


I am currently reading a book called “Love Does” that I purchased from the book fair.  It is written by Bob Goff who is the founder and president of a non-profit organization called Love Does that fights injustices committed against children.  Each chapter highlights a life lesson and includes entertaining (and sometimes hilarious) stories from his life.  It is an easy read and I strongly recommend it.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
I was given a book called “Joy to the World” this past Christmas.  It is a regency Christmas collection of 3 books written by Carolyn Miller (Heaven and Nature Sing), Amanda Barratt (Far as the Curse is Found), and Erica Vetsch (Wonders of His Love).  Each novella includes stories of faith and romance.  I love happy endings so I really enjoyed this book!
When I was younger I always enjoyed poetry by Shel Silverstein.  I remember my school librarian reading to my class from his book called “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  I have my own copy now.  One of my favourite poems is called “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out”.  Her pile of garbage reached so high it touched the sky so children please do NOT forget to take the garbage out!
Where the Sidewalk Ends
I also enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables series when I was younger.  Anne is an orphan adopted by Matthew and Mirella.  They requested a boy to help with their chores on the farm but were very surprised and delighted when Anne arrived on their doorstep.  The books share wonderful stories about her life in Avonlea, a farming community on Prince Edward Island.  I am currently watching the “Anne with an E” series on Netflix which has been a delight!
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Tapley!  I love Anne of Green Gables too!
Apps and websites, Building Belonging- diversity, Events, Uncategorized

Poetry Popsicle Challenge, Some School Photos, and More Poetry Resources

Hello HHCS community, I hope that everyone had a restful Spring Break!  Even though we will not be able to come back for school in the building this week, I am looking forward to seeing the students online.  Thank goodness for technology!

First of all for this week, a shout-out to Mr. Cook, our school vice-principal.  Every week in his office window he makes a display with an alliterative tribute to one of the teachers- last week before the Spring Break was my turn!  Thank you Mr. Cook, for all that you do for our school, staff, and students!

Next I thought I’d share a few pictures from our World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day activities.  We had the students make ‘little brains’ to illustrate things that they have both strengths and challenges with.  We celebrated all of our neurodiverse brains!

Here is the announcement for the Poetry Popsicle Write it or Recite it Challenge!  I hope the students will enjoy doing this!

Here is a sneak peek of some of the poetry resources mentioned on the poster announcement.  I love using the Poetry Machine with students!

Poetry Games- Poetry Machine





laptop wave

Have a good week and stay healthy HHCS!